Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to France

France is an old civilization, that is well-known for its cosmopolitan urban centers as well as its beautiful country side with wine countries and Mediterranean coastal towns in the South. It is famous for many different aspects, from art and architecture, to the French Revolution, to being a powerful member of the European Union. Many expats from all over the world live in France.


Work Visa:

Nationals of the EU, Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monacco need not apply for a work visa.

For everyone else, you must obtain a contract draft from a French company or a foreign company in France. Your French employer must file your application with the correct authorities for approval. A visa can then be issued through a consulate of France.

One visa is the short-stay visa, which lasts for 90 days. Your employer must provide you with a contract that has been signed by the DDTEFP (Direction départementale du travail, de l’emploi et de la formation professionnelle), in which you can then apply for the short-term visa.

You must submit the following documents:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Two short-term visa applications filled out in black, with phone number and email
  3. Passport photos glued onto applications
  4. Contract countersigned by DDTEFP, plus a copy
  5. Proof of travel insurance, copy
  6. Processing fee

For a long-stay visa, your employer must contact the OMI (Office des Migrations Internationales), which will then be sent to a French consulate upon acceptance, and you must apply for the visa. You must submit the same documents as the short-stay visa.

Student Visa:

France has many opportunities to study abroad. There are three different types of student visas, depending on how long you are going to stay in France.

The Schengen Visa entitles you to multiple entries to France for up to three months. Students must apply using the short-term application form.

The Temporary Long-Stay Visa is for 3-6 months with multiple entries, and is available through the long-term visa application form.

The One-Year Visa is for 6-12 months. It is valid for three months with one entry. Then the student will have to apply by the Long-Term visa application form. Within this time, after you arrive in France, you must complete proper documentation with your French educational institution. You must also go to the Office des Migrations Internationales. Afterward, you should obtain the student residency card through the police. You will have to show them your initial visa documents, a birth certificate and the results from your medical exam.

To apply for any of these visas, you must submit the following:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Visa application forms
  3. Passport photographs glued to each form
  4. Visa fee
  5. Proof of studies in your home country
  6. Letter of admission from your French school
  7. Proof of funding
  8. Proof of medical insurance

Click here for more details.

Moving Pets:

You are allowed to bring up to three dogs or cats (but only one puppy or kitten 3-6 months old) to France. To avoid quarantine, you must submit the following:

  1. Rabies vaccination form
  2. Medical certificate of good health, signed by a licensed veterinarian

Other Information:

Click here for a list of embassies in France.

Click here for an article about moving to France.


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